Greetings everyone. So far, thanks to all of you who replied ot my previous posts about wine education. I am enrolled to being the diploma program in NYC next month. I am interested in knowing what people consider to be the most difficult course(s) in the 6 units. Also, what has helped you? Finally, if anyone else in this room is in the program, interested in a study group? So far I am reading up on Jancis' and David Bird''s books. Any comments?
Original Post
Unit 3, the Light Wines of The World is by far the most difficult, but merely because it spans such a wide subject. If you didn't do the Advanced, the Exploring Wines & Spirits which is part of that curriculum, is a very good tool for understanding the basics for the diploma.

In essence, the Diploma will require you to know the same things as in the Advanced but to a deeper level, and most importantly, expects you to be able to apply the information. So when you read Unit 2 on viticulture, I recommend you make your revision notes so that they support the other units.

Read the instructions on exactly what is required for each unit and be sure you learn exactly that.

Also, I recommend you to taste wine according to the tasting method the diploma requires on your spare time, always making notes. It helps you enormously for the tasting exams if the points to be covered are second nature and you can concentrate on facts instead of method.
Markus, were there any magazine subscriptions that helped you on the papers. So far, I have WIne SPectator and Wine Business Monthly. SOmeone told me Harpers Wine Magazine is good but it costs 155 British Pounds per year for subscription. Would that expensive subscription help me immensely for those Unit 1 papers OR am I OK without subscribing to that expensive magazine? Thanks.
Greetings all. Have any of you taken the WSET Diploma program? What helped you most to succeed on those 4 papers you had to do for Unit 1? My other question is is it necessary to subscribe to the 155 Pound a year Harpers Wine?

THanks. I appreciate whatever input anyone can give.
Hi John,

sorry for not responding to you previous question, somehow I never saw it. Harpers is a very good publication, and it will help you no doubt. However, it is not absolutely crucial for completing the WSET Diploma in my opinion. But Harpers gives a good business Point-Of-View on matters crucial to understand. Wine is very much business, money and buidgeting of scarce resources, and as long as you are aware of that and can make that part tangible in your text, you won't need Harpers.

Another question is, how used are you to writing acedemic essays? If you are used to writing such, i.e. you have an acedemic degree, then no problem, just do as you are used to.

If not, I would give you a few tips but do keep in mind that these are my personal opinions, not statements of fact.

1) The requirements are British - form is A and O. Be ABSOLUTELY certain that you have structured your essay clearly, referenced according to either the Oxford or the Harvard system consistently, and that you address EACH and EVERY point in the assignment you are given on the WSET homepage. There are no unnecessary sentences in the assignment description. The essay should have a clear introduction, and a clear chapter for conclusions. You are fortunate in that the new way of structuring the assignment desciption pretty much outlines the structure for the essay and what questions should be answered.

2) You will need plenty of up-to-date sources. An essay written using less than say 10 sources is not going to be looked kindly upon. Sources should be as recent as possible, and mainly consist of authorative ones (i.e. blogs = bad, Hugh Johnson or Oxford Companion = good).

3) Write as critically as possible. If you have two sources stating opposite views, this makes for interesting debate. The conclusion should not merely be a restating of facts mentioned in the chapters of the body of the essay, but rather logical conjecture based on those facts, and a conjecture that pulls each thread together.

4) Do not exceed the word count maximum, but try to get as close to it as possible.

5) Always, always, always include an economic perspective.

6) If you have difficulty getting started, open a book or article on the subject and start writing while you read. Often when you read a book, the information it contains begins to feel obvious, leaving you with a situation where you feel you can adequately write only a few lines of it into your essay. That is why it is better to write while reading. It is easier to delete than to create.

7) Never, ever plagiate - that will get you kicked off the program permanently. If you copy even one sentence, you need to quote it exactly with quotation marks and source reference. If you capture the spirit of a chapter or sentence, you need to cite the exact source.

As for sources, I am fortunate in having acquired quite a wine library over the years. Decanter and Wine Spectator helped me some, but googlin on wine conferences and similar helped me even more.

Hope this helps.
Markus:

Thank you very much for your detailed reply. I do have college degrees and I am used to using the APA format of documenting work. Often I am taught that I could paraphrase others' writings as well as long as I document it. I am assuming that whatever documenting system I use that it is used consistently throughout the papers. Which sources did you find most helpful to you in regards to understanding a good grasp of the wine business, money, and budgeting of scarce resources? I am new to the wine world and have only worked in the restaurant business. Also, did you take the course in New York?

Thanks.
quote:
Often I am taught that I could paraphrase others' writings as well as long as I document it.


That is correct and necessary.

quote:
Which sources did you find most helpful to you in regards to understanding a good grasp of the wine business, money, and budgeting of scarce resources? I am new to the wine world and have only worked in the restaurant business.


Harpers is good for getting to terms with the wine business, but I have a Master in Economic Sciences and work in the wine business, so I didn't specifically need the sources to get into that way of thinking. Google KOtler's 4 P's of marketing for any marketing assignments, you'd be surprised how many questions you can answer merely based on that, when it comes to marketing specifically. Then look up supply and demand, and basic economics on the net. I'm sure that will help.

quote:
Also, did you take the course in New York?


Heh, no mate, in Finland. Sent all my essays to London for review. Lecturers were flown in from Britain.
Sounds like you really know your stuff! It appears to me that this challenging program is fun to undergo. I am only in Unit 1 & 2 combined. Lots of science but I am hoping it will all click. When it comes to tests, I am told that the 100 question exam to Unit 2 is purely memorization from Understanding WIne Technology. Right now, I am trying ot get accustomed to the teacher's palette. She admites hers is a little off but still, she will be grading our tasting exams I would imagine since we are not in London.
This question is about the strategy for Exams in Units 2-6:

For unit 2: Can I consider myself safe by reading the Understanding Wine Tech & The Oxford book as preparation for the exam? If not please elaborate.

For Unites 4-6 which I take this fall, what are the reading sources for the written exam? I am not worried about Unit 3 yet since it is a year away.

The WSET site lists some books that they star but some of the 3 star ones are 400 pages long. Can you shed some light in regards to study tips?
I am beginning Units 4 through 6 this fall. Anyone else taking those on line or in NYC? If so, want to create a study group? Even if doing it long distance on line, we could exchange some sample test questions we make up from the readings, then e-mail to each other. The more communication the merrier as far as communicating more about the topics. I feel the more we discuss and read about it, notably practicing answering sample test questions wwe create, the better the chance we can do well.
John,

quote:
For unit 2: Can I consider myself safe by reading the Understanding Wine Tech & The Oxford book as preparation for the exam? If not please elaborate.


Yes, you are safe.

quote:
For Unites 4-6 which I take this fall, what are the reading sources for the written exam? ... The WSET site lists some books that they star but some of the 3 star ones are 400 pages long. Can you shed some light in regards to study tips?


I recall the 5 star rating is given to books that are absolutely essential to completing the written exam. Speaks for itself, you shouln't need anything else to pass. But for good marks, and more importantly, a deeper understanding, WSET has graded other material as well, such as the books you are refering to.

Some of the best IMHO were Radford's book on Spain and Belfrage's on Burgundy.
WSET Diploma Units 4 5 and 6

Is anyone studying any of the above units? If so, would you like to exchange sample test questions that we can make up from the readings? Let me know. I will be taking the exams in early November but am starting on the reading now.

First of all, apologies for any mistakes, English is not my first language.

Hi WSET Diploma student here (only one more unit to go). Level 4 has been one of the most challenging but rewarding experience of my life but there is a major difference in terms of difficulty in between level 3 and the Diploma, so take that into consideration. But at the same time you will increase the level of understanding and knowledge of all things related to wine substantially.

The course helped me getting a fantastic job that has allowed me to travel, taste plenty of wine and best of all pays very well. Diploma graduates are very respected in the industry and you will make great friends and useful contacts. I will definitely try to get into the Masters of Wine program as soon as I finish this level.

If you are disciplined and organized it shouldn't be a problem, I study one or two hours a day 5 days a week before I start work, weekends are devoted to my family. I promised myself that the moment wine education starts interfering with my personal life I will stop immediately but so far so good.

As far a the practical exams go, even if you are not in the industry you can attend industry tastings (they are usually free) and form a tasting group with your classmates, you will all be on the same boat.

Please see the following article http://www.rachelvonsturmer.com/blog/my-wset-diploma-review for a much better review of the WSET Diploma.

6 units include:

D1 – Wine production
D2 – Wine business
D3 – Wines of the world
D4 – Sparkling wines
D5 – Fortified wines
D6 – Independent research assignment

Grape Experience offers an online course for any city: D1 & D2 June 1 – Sept 27, 2020; D2 Exam October 27, 2020; the cost is $1900 or there may be an in person study in Boston and San Francisco by Martin Reyes, highly regarded educator, collections essay writer and wine professional. I can share a couple of assignment examples from previous years (my students passed the exam successfully).

Last edited by franklucido

Thanks for sharing this information! I'm thinking about getting WSET Diploma, but I can't decide where to do this. I've already looked through various collegeapps, but they include much useful information about enering and choosing college, passing exams, but I didn't find the information about the instutions that offer WSET Diploma. So, your link and experience are really helpful. 

Last edited by Francis123

Add Reply

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×